Feedback Style: Land Mine

Attributes of a Land Mine

Thankful – Preoccupied – Perfectionist – Delegator – Fussy – Keeper of the Brand

Who Is a Land Mine

Ouch! Stepping on a land mine of feedback can send a creative reeling. However, this feedback style feels great most of the time. The creator cruises around getting constructive feedback most of the time, but then a complete redo blindsides them.

When it’s a redo, this feedback can also come across as cutting and overly harsh. Land Mines might give very hurtful feedback when unsatisfied with an idea.

The reality of this feedback style is the feedback landmine isn’t usually the creator’s fault. It’s usually a trusting but busy reviewer who is to blame. They have anxiety about their work life and performance.

Land Mine reviewers are often the folks in your review process who are very busy and “know it when they see it.” These folks should be part of the kickoff process because they will blow a project up if it doesn’t fit their standards.

These folks will keep you pursuing a better idea, while adding a little anxiety to your review process.

What To Do If You're A Land Mine

If you see yourself blowing up projects, you are a Land Mine. And honestly, it’s all your fault. You are not communicating with your creators early enough to include your expectations for a project or your quality standard.

Land Mines are very hard on themselves and on the people around them. You’ve worked hard to earn your position, and you want others to make that same effort in their work.

  • Commend yourself for trusting your team to do their job. You give quality, helpful feedback that helps move projects to a more polished level.
  • Make sure you are part of project kickoffs and share your expectations early in the creation process.
  • Check-in with creators to see if they are struggling with a function or need someone to bounce an idea off. Be a coach of great ideas.
  • Make time for a thoughtful review. You will get frustrated with the “errors” if you rush a review. On the other hand, if you give yourself more time to understand where the creator is coming from, you might not have to blow the project up.
  • Land Mines also need to check their own standards of quality and finish seriously. Are you making room for your team’s experience and background? Are you being inclusive of new viewpoints or styles of creativity? Be welcoming of your team’s diversity. Strive to put less of yourself in the idea. Creating a new quality standard is necessary for leading a diverse group.
  • Remember to point out an idea’s good parts before you blow it up. Maybe they put effort into the project or you like the base idea, but point out at least one highlight.
  • Tell people about your expectations. People can’t live up to a standard that hasn’t been taught.
  • Share your red flags. Point out your most dangerous trigger points to your team.
  • When you do need to blow things up, do it kindly.

Burnout can happen to your team if you don’t keep your bombs to a minimum. Having to redo too many projects will demotivate a team and have them start seeking work elsewhere.

Give feedback in the spirit of collaboration. You are the keeper of perfection. You are the whetstone on which good ideas get honed into great ones. Your standards are valuable and needed on a team. Don’t burn down the project, or worse, the people, to reach your standard of perfection.

How To Stop Being a Land Mine

  • Make time for a thoughtful review.
  • Thank the creator for their hard work before blowing it up.
  • Share your red flags and expectations of quality.
  • Commend yourself for trusting your team to do their job.
  • Be kind when you change a project and give concrete direction to get it completed quickly.

Acceptance of your Feedback Style is the first step to creating a kind workplace. Great job!

Now the real work begins. Order your copy of Kindly Review to learn how to unleash the creative power of your team. Learn all the Feedback Styles, and get a step-by-step process to complete your creative work in just 2 rounds of feedback. For real. It’s powerful stuff.

Being Kind Boss is the key to increased productivity and greater employee satisfaction. Kindly Review will get you the skills to lead with kindness.

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